The Balkanization of Somalia

The Balkanization of Somalia

The debacle of the East Africa famine once again hit the international media in summer 2011. Television reports showed the emaciated faces of children, women, and the elderly who are encamped in refugee centers in Kenya and Somalia. The last time a devastating famine...
Women’s Exclusion Worsens Somali Crises

Women’s Exclusion Worsens Somali Crises

On July 22, 2011 the newly appointed Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, a Harvard-trained professor of economics, announced his 49-member cabinet. There are only two women in it: one minister and one vice minister. Yet, Somali women and children are the...

Ruin by Recklessness

It is the height of recklessness for the current crop of uncompromising Republicans in Congress to play political games with our nation’s economic soundness. As a nation, we must pay our bills, and we need to raise our debt ceiling to do so. Ronald Reagan...
Uganda: Ally Gone Bad?

Uganda: Ally Gone Bad?

The excessive violence with which Ugandan security forces have over the last month cracked down on initially peaceful opposition protests at soaring food and fuel prices, and which last week overshadowed the inauguration of re-elected President Yoweri Museveni, is...
Puntland Splits

Puntland Splits

Puntland, an autonomous state in northeast Somalia with a population of three million, has declared that it is no longer interested in working with the current Somali government. Puntland’s decision stems from the hesitation of the Transitional Federal...

WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Twisted Ethiopia’s Arm to Invade Somalia

By mid 2007, the 50,000 Ethiopian troops that invaded Somalia in late 2006 found themselves increasingly bogged down, facing much fiercer resistance than they had bargained for as Somalis of all stripes temporarily put aside their differences to stand together against...
What to Do About Somalia

What to Do About Somalia

Now that the violence of Somalia has spilled over into Uganda, western policymakers and pundits are suddenly all aflutter with the urge to ‘do something’. Exactly what that something might be is uncertain. Drone attacks, special forces, a Gaza-like...
Postcard from…Eastleigh

Postcard from…Eastleigh

The streets of Eastleigh, a neighborhood of Nairobi known as “Little Mogadishu,” are full of deep potholes, dust, and exhaust fumes. Somali women, many covered from head to toe, are braving the traffic. The smell of traditional Somali spices competes with...

Zimbabwe Elections, News from Somalia

Listen to the interview. FARAI CHIDEYA, host: We’ve got more on the Zimbabwean elections and news from Somalia with Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. Who’s really responsible for counting the votes?...

Memo to the Somali Government

Imagine a reconciliation process in Iraq that fails to include militias or Sunni and Shia hardliners? How about a reconciliation process in Afghanistan that sidelines violent Pashtos in the south? The chances of either process succeeding would be slim. In both cases,...

Force Won’t Bring Peace to Somalia

The sudden defeat of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) by the Ethiopian army and their U.S. backers proved easier then expected. A reported 15,000 Ethiopian troops and U.S. aerial bombardment succeeded in installing the Transitional Federal Government, two years after...

The Future of Political Islam in Somalia

The United States, fearing a new Taliban had come to power in Somalia, recently did what many expected it would do: invade Somalia. Not directly though. In the final weeks of 2006, Ethiopian forces that were trained, financed, and outfitted by the United States...

The Making of Another Iraq

A new front in the “global war on terror” has emerged with its center in war-torn Somalia. The target of the new front, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), both brought back normalcy to seemingly untamable southern Somalia and anxiously legislated morality to...

A New Frontier of Jihadi Islam?

Somalia today is very much like Afghanistan was in 1996. In the wake of years of civil war, chaotic rule by warlords, and the death and displacement of countless Muslims, a ragtag Islamic militia has moved in to take control of much of Somalia. After running off some...